Taoiseach may appoint Averil Power to the Seanad

Enda Kenny can select 11 candidates for Upper House and will choose some ex-FG TDs

Enda Kenny: deciding who to appoint  to the Upper House. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Enda Kenny: deciding who to appoint to the Upper House. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is understood to be considering appointing Independent Averil Power to the Seanad. Mr Kenny has the power to select 11 candidates for the Upper House and will select a number of former Fine Gael TDs who failed to be re-elected.

Former minister for children and deputy leader of Fine Gael James Reilly, former minister for housing Paudie Coffey, former minister of state at the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes and former minister for the diaspora Jimmy Deenihan are all in line for selection. Michelle Mulherin and John O’Mahony, who both lost their seats in the general election, are also said to be in contention.

Delay Bills

Fine Gael secured 13 seats in the Seanad elections and Fianna Fáil secured 14 seats in the Upper House. If Fianna Fáil co-operates with Fine Gael, and Mr Kenny appoints 11 loyal Fine Gael members, the Government will still not have a majority. The Seanad cannot bring a government down but has the power to delay Bills.

Ms Power ran in the general election as an Independent in the Dublin Bay North constituency but failed to secure a seat. She also contested the Trinity panel for the Seanad and received the support of Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar during the contest.

Ministers of state

Mr Kenny is also considering appointing outgoing Senator Seán Barrett, who also lost his seat. The Taoiseach has been contacted by Senator David Norris urging him to select Mr Barrett. Mr Kenny’s decision will not be made known for another two weeks. It is expected he will announce his ministers of state next week.

TDs Helen McEntee, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Martin Heydon, Eoghan Murphy and Seán Kyne are all in the race to be selected.

Michael Ring is also expected to be retained as a minister of state.